Optical design of high-flux solar simulators

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Indoor high-flux solar simulators that mimic solar optical concentrators are used as artificial sources of concentrated solar radiation for solar thermal and thermochemical research, and for testing of materials under extreme radiative fluxes and temperatures. They create controlled, weather-independent experimental conditions. We developed a systematic approach to the design of a class of high-flux solar simulators. The generic simulator concept consists of an array of identical lamps arranged in concentric rows. Each module consists of a xenon short-arc lamp, which approximates a point radiation source, coupled to a truncated ellipsoidal reflector. Inputs to the design are the overall rim angle of the simulator, the number of module rows, the number of lamps in each row, and the diameter and the depth of the reflector. The positions and orientations of the lamps are then obtained from geometrical relations. Simulators are designed for maximum source-to-target radiative transfer efficiency and optimum radiative flux distributions on selected plane and hemispherical reference surfaces, using the Monte Carlo ray-tracing technique.

Learn more about a new high-flux solar simulator for high-temperature solar thermal and thermochemical research designed at the Australian National University.


  1. K. Krueger, J.H. Davidson, and W. Lipiński. Design of a new 45 kWe high-flux solar simulator for high-temperature solar thermal and thermo-chemical research. Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, 133:011013, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1115/1.4003298

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